Amazon Adds Kindle Textbook Rentals

Kindle RentalAmazon Adds Kindle Textbook Rentals, Promises 80 Percent Savings

By Chloe Albanesius, of PC Magazine

Amazon on Monday unveiled its Kindle Textbook Rental service, which lets students rent textbooks on their Kindles or Kindle apps for up to a year.

Kindle Textbook Rental? Click here.

Amazon promised savings of up to 80 percent. “Students tell us that they enjoy the low prices we offer on new and used print textbooks. Now we’re excited to offer students an option to rent Kindle textbooks and only pay for the time they need—with savings up to 80 percent off the print list price on a 30-day rental,” Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle, said in a statement.

Rental times start at 30 days and can go up to 360 days, depending on how long the student needs access to the book. Users can increase their rental times in one-day increments, or opt to buy the book. Amazon will also save any notes made in the margins, even after the rental expires.

“Normally, when you sell your print textbook at the end of the semester you lose all the margin notes and highlights you made as you were studying,” Limp said. “We’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you get to keep and access all of your notes and highlighted content in the Amazon Cloud, available anytime, anywhere—even after a rental expires. If you choose to rent again or buy
at a later time, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”

Rented textbooks can be accessed across devices; start on the Kindle and pick up on the Kindle smartphone app, for example.

Amazon said tens of thousands of textbooks will be available for the 2011 school year from publishers like John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier and Taylor & Francis. An intermediate accounting book, for example, sells for $109.20 on the Kindle, but can be rented starting at $38.29. An organic chemistry book sells from $98.80 on the Kindle, but can be rented for $42.41.

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